Q: Dr. Eppley, I read this article on bone erosion from chin implants and wanted to make sure I understood it. I am a 28 year old male and have been debating getting a chin implant for awhile now. What I got out of the article is that the bone structure in the chin is going to change with age no matter what and when it does the chin implant has no choice but to settle into the bone because of the muscle behind it is going to press to the bone causing resorption. Is it only until it settles back again? I’ve been debating this for awhile and it is the one thing that keeps me from going thru with the procedure. Also is it something that most people won’t notice you had done? I wouldn’t want anyone to know I had the procedure.
A: You are somewhat correct in your assessment of the unique phenomenon of chin implant settling. Note that I do not call it erosion which would indicate an active process caused by inflammation…which is not the case for a chin implant. This settling phenomenon is more likely to be seen with larger chin implants that are under more pressure from a tighter chin pad in front of it. In many chin implants, this settling is not seen at all. Also, implant settling is more likely to occur when the implant rides high on the chin bone where the cortical bone is much thinner. When a chin implant is placed in the ideal l position on the low end of the symphysis, where it is more dense cortical bone, settling is either not seen or is very limited. (1 to 2mms)
Dr. Barry Eppley